Swiss competition watchdog fines major banks over rate cartels

JPMorgan Chase & Co. bank branch
Eric Thayer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) said on Wednesday it had fined several European and U.S. banks over four instances of interest rate cartels, the largest of which was a 33.9 million Swiss franc ($32.9 million) penalty for JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The JPMorgan fine came after COMCO concluded it operated a bilateral cartel with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) with the aim of influencing the Swiss franc LIBOR benchmark between March 2008 and July 2009, COMCO said in a statement.

RBS received full immunity for revealing the existence of the cartel to the COMCO.

Barclays was also fined 29.8 million francs for participating in a cartel in euro interest rate derivatives, COMCO said.

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